WASHINGTON, DEC 6 (KUNA) -- Flames continued to engulf hundreds of homes and force thousands more residents to flee across Southern California on Wednesday as forecasters warn wildfires will continue to spread mercilessly over the coming days.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to wildfires that broke out this week and quickly expanded across the region fueled by strong blowing Santa Ana winds.
The largest fire, known as the Thomas Fire, erupted in Ventura County northwest of downtown Los Angeles has engulfed 65,000 acres and destroyed hundreds of homes, threatened 12,000 structures and forced 27,000 people to evacuate, officials said.
Fire officials are reportedly battling a new blaze that threatens the city of Los Angeles, including the historic Getty Center.
Late Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency in Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to the fires, and his office said the blazes threatened thousands of homes.
"It's critical residents stay ready and evacuate immediately if told to do so," Brown said in a statement.
So far, officials have not announced any deaths due to the fires. Three firefighters in Los Angeles were injured and taken to a hospital, all in stable condition, according to local officials who did not elaborate on their injuries. A battalion chief in Ventura was injured in a traffic accident and was expected to recover.
The coming days could continue to present new risks of additional wildfires, authorities warned. Charlie Beck, the Los Angeles police chief, said the region was facing "a multiday event," adding: "This will not be the only fire." (end)